How did I do it?

September 11, 2012

Creativity, Self-discipline

I finished my business website. You can check it out at gretchenbehnke.com.

How did I do it? How did I go from last Tuesday: no website whatsoever, writing a post about being stuck and procrastinating, to this Tuesday: website complete, writing a post announcing its launch?

How did I do it? (I’m asking this question as much for my future self as I am to explain it to you.)

1. Acknowledge the Resistance

Last Tuesday, I wrote the post Just One More and Then I’ll Start acknowledging the Resistance. I stated out loud to myself and to all of you that I should be working on my business website but instead was gonna do just one more ecourse on entrepreneurship.

2. Feed your mind

The next morning I picked back up Uncertainty, by Jonathan Fields. I’d stopped reading it as I was finding it heavy and difficult — it’s so packed with information, scientific studies, and techniques to help us push through the fear of uncertain ventures. I’d only read a few of pages when something struck me. Something about: put something out quickly so you can test your idea before putting heaps of effort into it. And: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. My conclusion: I need to quickly put up a website and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

3. Have good tools

I grabbed a little workbook from Seth Godin called SHIP IT. I bought a 5-pack of these over a year ago and have never used a single one. But in that moment on Wednesday morning, fueled by the caffeine high and the nudge from Uncertainty, I started answering the questions, in writing, in the workbook, per Seth’s instructions. He knows just what to ask, starting with: When will the project ship? List a date and time. Be specific. I wrote: Thursday, Sept. 13 COB. Finally, he makes you list all your greatest fears (which turn out to be small) and all the insurmountable roadblocks (which turn out to be nonexistent).

4. Make a plan

Having stomped some fears and set a deadline, I made a plan to achieve it. I broke it down into chunks. For example, all I had to do on Wednesday was choose a theme and figure out how to work it. No content creation required. Easy enough.

5. Follow your plan

I stuck to the plan. As the site started to take shape, as I started to see real results, it was easier to keep going. I even worked on Sunday!

I think the overall HOW here is “Make a plan.” Setting a deadline and writing down the specific tasks required to complete the project makes it do-able. The nebulous, daunting, vague “website project” is demystified into actionable steps.

And so it is shipped. Two days early, no less. It is not perfect. And it will never be finished. I will keep tweaking and improving and building my portfolio. The victory here is: I started something!

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2 Comments on “How did I do it?”

  1. Karen Marston Says:

    Awesome. Congrats, Gretchen! The site looks ace.

    Reply

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